DIY stylish garden: A beginner’s guide to topiary shaping

Looking to turn your garden into a work of art?

For an unforgettably stylish garden, topiary shaping is how you take things to a new level when it comes to landscaping. You can transform your garden with topiary shaping, and there are simple DIY methods too.

Topiary shaping and decorative hedging unlock an amazing aesthetic in your garden. With so many opportunities for creativity, it enhances the value of your garden and also boosts the overall environment.

This art form dates back to the 1st century in recorded history.

Today we’ll explore topiary shaping, even if you’re a complete beginner. Maybe you’ve always been intrigued by it and want to give it a try, and you think topiary shaping is the secret to a stylish garden.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in.

Seven topiary shaping must-know tips for your desired design

  1. As much as you may want to rush and achieve a specific design, remember that it’s better to trim the plant carefully and slowly reveal the form. This way, you avoid ruining it.
  2. Depending on the complexity of the design, you want to make sure you’re trimming in the right places to keep the structural integrity and shape intact.
  3. By cutting shrubs too fast, you risk cutting away too much of an area that strengthens and holds the plant together. Attention to detail is crucial.
  4. Always trim the shrubs from the top down. Trim little and often.
  5. Be patient. Topiary shaping is not an overnight-results activity. You might have to wait a few months for the shrubs to grow out and be dense and bushy enough to give you that wow factor.
  6. The location and landscape of the topiary shape are of utmost importance.
  7. Flowers can make your topiary design colourful and add an extra zest.

Simple to serious shapes to kickstart a stylish garden

It’s better to start simple and work your way up to more intricate designs and artistic shapes in your soon-to-be stylish garden.

The most simple designs are:

  • Balls and globes
  • Cones
  • Obelisks
  • Pyramids
  • Square
  • Letters/words/messages More serious designs include:
  • Animals
  • Sculptures
  • Real-life scenes

Of course, there are so many more designs that it would be difficult to list them all here. Your creativity is the limit!

To help, you could use a wire framework to guide you in the shaping process. The wire framework hides underneath while maintaining a completely natural look and feel.

Some of the most practical plants for topiary

Now that you’re aware of important tips and what shapes are best to start with, you should know what plants are best suited for topiary shapes in your soon-to-be stylish garden.

  1. The ultimate plant for hedging and topiary shaping is the Buxus “Faulkner”.

We’ve covered it before in a previous blog post, “Garden Hedging Ideas for Every Garden Need.” Feel free to read more about it there.

Others include:

  • Abelia
  • Plumbago Royal Cape
  • Viburnum Odoratissimum
  • Laurus Nobilus
  • Rosemary
The most useful tools for topiary shaping
–       A step ladder to reach the top areas and to be able to see what you’re doing up there.
–       A pair of gloves to protect your hands from getting pricked or hurt when grabbing shrubs.
–       Without spending money, a pair of scissors can work for the tiny details.
–       Long-handed shears for the thicker stems.
–       A pole pruner for longer harder-to-reach shrubs.
–       Secateurs for one-handed, easy-to-trim shrubs.
And there you have it. The must-have tips, advice, plants, and tools for launching a stylish garden with DIY topiary shaping.
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“Topiary has always seemed like a good occupation, comparable in some ways to writing short fiction.”
Kelly Link